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Hospital Management Career Information and Education Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a hospital manager. Get a quick view of the requirements, degree programs and job duties to see if a career in hospital management is right for you.

High job growth is anticipated in the field of medical and health services management through 2024. A bachelor's degree is required, although a master's degree or graduate certificate is recommended. Internships that provide administrative experience will also help candidates who seek to enter this career field.

Essential Information

Professionals in hospital management, also known as health services management, usually have the job title of hospital manager or hospital administrator. They typically coordinate and direct the delivery of healthcare services in a hospital system. Managers may head entire hospitals or be in charge of specific departments or branches. Beginning a career in hospital management typically requires a bachelor's degree at minimum, although managers often hold advanced degrees. They also need administration experience.

Required Education Bachelor's degree; master's degrees or graduate certificates are common and may be preferred
Other Requirements Work experience
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 17% for medical and health services managers
Median Salary (2015)* $94,500 for medical and health services managers

Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information on Hospital Management

Training in hospital management opens up a number of career options. Large hospitals often have a team of managers to oversee operations in specific departments, such as human resources, health information and medical billing. Smaller hospitals may only have a few administrators that work in multiple administrative areas. A manager may also head the entire hospital administrative system.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for medical and health services managers should increase by 17% between 2014 and 2024. This growth is due in part to changes in healthcare insurance regulations, the need for cost control measurements and mandated computerization of hospital records. The BLS predicts that professionals with advanced training and administrative experience may find many employment and advancement opportunities.

Educational Requirements

Although a graduate degree may not always be a requirement to work in hospital management, many employers prefer applicants with extensive educational training in healthcare administration. Many employers and professional certification associations require applicants to graduate from an accredited healthcare management degree program.

The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) has recommended four degree options for students interested in healthcare management, including Master's of Business Administration (MBA), Master's of Public Health (MPH), Master's of Health Administration (MHA) and Master's of Public Administration (MPA). According to CAHME, more than 95 colleges and universities in the U.S. offer accredited graduate degree programs in healthcare management.

Coursework often covers a variety of subjects related to business administration, public health and the healthcare industry. Programs can include study in accounting, hospital systems, healthcare regulations, patient privacy rights and hospital management.

Graduate certificate programs generally focus on specific healthcare management subjects, such as systems technology, finance and healthcare economics. Students typically learn organizational leadership techniques such as organizational development, strategic planning and staff assessment.

With administrative experience and a bachelor's degree it is possible to begin a career in medical and health services management, although a master's or graduate certificate may be preferred or required by some employers. With 'faster than average' job growth projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics through 2024, there are many opportunities for those planning a career in this field.

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